Şişli: Historical Places and Luxury Experiences

Şişli is one of the most diverse districts of Istanbul with its historical buildings, trade centers, art, and an environment that is always alive. This remarkable district in the European side of Istanbul carries a great historical significance, and today it is a modern district with so many things to offer you.

Even though the first settlement traces in Şişli goes back to the 16th century, Şişli was a modern and attractive place from day one. As the Haliç Shipyard became an important symbol for the city, Şişli started to gain its importance, increasing more as each day passes.

Today, Şişli is one of the most modern districts of Istanbul, and hence, one of the most developed ones. Luxury, comfort, entertainment, and a nice environment are what you can expect in Şişli. In this article, you will find all the information you need to know about this district and its importance for Istanbul history in general. If you are ready, let’s start.

Getting to Şişli

Since Şişli is a very popular and central district, there are many ways of transportation. With the improved transportation infrastructure of Istanbul, you can get to Şişli regardless of where you are.

You can use the metro, buses, tram, minibusses, Metrobus, and the ferry in Istanbul to get to Şişli. Please note that even though some options are not direct, you can always use transfers and get to Şişli regardless of where you are. The following are some of the most important starting points, and how can you get to Şişli from those destinations.

From New Istanbul Airport

If you want to get to Şişli from the new Istanbul Airport, there are several ways you might want to use.

The first option is to use the HavaIst buses, which you can find as you get out of the Istanbul Airport. You would want to use the HavaIst bus that goes to 4. Levent destination, which will take approximately 25 minutes (which can change depending on the traffic).

After that, you can use various buses and metro that go to Şişli from 4. Levent. You can use the bus named 27T to directly get to Şişli or use the M2 Yenikapı metro line.

Or, you might want to prefer taking the bus named H-2, which will take you to Şişli directly from the new Istanbul Airport. The same transportation methods will also take you to Istanbul Airport from Şişli.

From Sabiha Gökçen Airport

Just like Istanbul Airport, you can get to Şişli from Sabiha Gökçen Airport through several options.

You can use the HavaIst buses to get to Taksim, and take the metro line M2 to different neighborhoods of Şişli. Alternatively, you can get on a bus to Şişli from Taksim. Some of the bus lines are listed below:

  • DT2 (bus)
  • 66 (bus)
  • 46Ç (bus)
  • 46T (bus)
  • 54E (bus)
  • 74A (bus)

Or, you can take the bus named SG-2 to get to Levent, and take the metro M2 or, the bus 27T, 65G, or 64Ç from there to get to Şişli.

Kadıköy

Kadıköy takes place in the Anatolian side of Istanbul, so you need to cross the Bosphorus to get to Şişli. You can use the steamboat to Beşiktaş, and take the bus named 30M or DT2 from there.

Or you can use the minibusses or buses that would take you to Beşiktaş from Kadıköy, and use the same buses mentioned to get to Şişli.

Or you can use the Marmaray line to get to Yenikapı station, and transfer to the M2 Hacıosman metro line and get to Şişli/Mecidiyeköy station.

Get more information about Kadiköy!

Beşiktaş

Transportation to Şişli from Beşiktaş is possible through different buses and metro lines.

You can use the buses named 30M or DT2 to directly get to Şişli. You can also use 42T, 559C, and 40T buses to transfer to the metro and stop at Şişli/Mecidiyeköy metro station.

Get more information about Beşiktaş!

Eminönü and Sultanahmet

You can use the buses named 66, 54E, 46Ç and 74A from Eminönü to get to Şişli. If you do not want to be involved in the traffic, you can walk for 10 minutes to get to the metro station and use the M2 Hacıosman metro line.

From Sultanahmet, you may want to use the tram from Çemberlitaş and get to Karaköy first. Then, you can take the bus named 66 to get to Şişli.

Or, you can walk 8 minutes to Çatladıkapı station and use the BN1 bus to stop at Eminönü Spice Bazaar station. Then, after a 5 minutes walk, you can use the 46Ç bus from Kağıthane to get to Şişli.

Taksim Square

Taking the metro from Taksim Square will take you to Şişli directly. You can also use the buses DT2 and 66.

Get to know Taksim Square more closely!

History of Şişli

As mentioned earlier, Şişli had always been a modern place, and hence, the history of Şişli starts as the Ottoman Empire influences by the Western culture. Today, many structures we see in Şişli served a purpose in history.

The first structures built for soldiers to accommodate in the 18th century led to big changes in the destiny of Şişli. In the following years, when the Ottoman Empire entered the Tanzimat (means reorganization) Period, the city’s needs lead Şişli to have all the necessary structures such as schools, hospitals, government buildings, and palaces to meet the needs of the city.

As the Ottoman Empire enters the decline period, Şişli started to live its brightest period. The reasons of the Ottoman Empire to decline were somehow a reason for Şişli to develop and improve as a district. Many important people from Ottoman Empire built their mansions in Şişli.

In the late 19th century, modern opportunities such as transportation, electricity, and gas spread to Şişli, Şişli went through the fastest wave of modernity. After Beyoğlu, Şişli was the second district of Istanbul that introduced with electricity and gas, and with electricity and gas, Şişli became a symbol of luxury and modernity.

Many famous architects and city planners such as Agache, Lambert, Elgötz, Prots, and Mongri played a role in the construction and city planning in Şişli. In the mid-20th century, the structures in Şişli gained even more significance, and Şişli became more modern and popular than ever.

In the following years, Şişli got influenced by every little change that Istanbul was exposed to and got the final picture of today.

Highlights of Şişli – Where to Go in Şişli?

Şişli has so many different places to offer to you, regardless of what are your interests. You can find museums, palaces, historical buildings palaces, parks, art galleries, and many other entertainment places in Şişli. Exploring Şişli will give you a greater image of Istanbul, and you will get the chance to experience modern Istanbul combined with historical significance.

Atatürk Museum

Atatürk Museum is a museum dedicated to the Republic of Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The museum takes place in a three-floored house in which Atatürk himself accommodated in the history.

Personal belongings of Atatürk, rare pictures, clothes, collections, and a lot of historical knowledge take place in the Atatürk Museum. You can find biographic information of Atatürk illustrated with visuals, belongings, and pictures from birth to death. If you want to get to know Turkey better, getting to know Atatürk through Atatürk Museum is a great start.

Ihlamur Palace

Ihlamur Palace is one of the most popular palaces of Istanbul and takes place in Şişli. During the Ottoman period, Ihlamur Palace was used by many different sultans used as a resting place. The architecture of Ihlamur Palace is in Neo-Baroque style, and this palace takes place in the middle of lots of trees. The garden of Ihlamur Palace itself is a masterpiece with its nature and environment and is as popular as the palace itself.

Ihlamur Palace

Besides being a resting place for sultans, Ihlamur Palace hosted many different ceremonies and sports events of sultans.

Every detail of Ihlamur Palace is worth seeing, and an Istanbul trip without Ihlamur Palace would be deficient. The outstanding architecture of Ihlamur Palace is one of the main reasons why it is so popular.

Teşvikiye Mosque

Teşvikiye Mosque is Şişli’s gem in terms of being a popular mosque, which was made by Sultan Abdülmecid. Even though Teşvikiye Mosque is very old, it still gets thousands of visitors annually due to its architectural properties and history.

Teşvikiye Mosque

In the beginning, the place where Teşvikiye Mosque was built had a masjid made by Selim III. Then, this masjid transformed into Teşvikiye Mosque. If you saw any other Ottoman mosques, you can detect that Teşvikiye Mosque’s architecture style is a little bit different. The sultan of that time was seeking something different, and this is how Teşvikiye Palace found life in Teşvikiye.

Teşvikiye Mosque was renovated in the late 2010s. As the renovation ended, the mosque opened for prayers in 2021.

Teşvikiye

Şişli is a modern and luxurious district, and Teşvikiye part of Şişli offers you an extreme end of this modernity and luxury. Teşvikiye is known as a part of Şişli with Art Deco style buildings and upper-middle- and upper-class residents.

Teşvikiye

Besides, Teşvikiye is a welcoming strict that has something for everyone. In other words, Teşvikiye being a luxurious place does not mean that you must spend hundreds of dollars every time you visit. There are many restaurants, coffee shops, and bars that you can visit on a budget.

Istanbul Military Museum

Istanbul Military Museum is not only a famous museum of Istanbul, but it is one of the most significant military museums in the world. The museum includes a very rich collection, and there are many different varieties of those collections.

Istanbul Military Museum

This rooted museum’s establishment goes back to the fifteenth century, and it was first established as a place to store weapons, war tools, and other belongings related to wars. In the mid 19th century, Ahmet Fethi Pasha decided to transfer this storage to a museum, and so the story of the Istanbul Military Museum begun.

The museum not only offers war tools, but there is a library, clothing section, a movie theater, and many other historical documents that would make your visit to Istanbul Military Museum better. It is a museum that is worth visit, and you should not miss it while you are in Şişli.

St. Esprit Cathedral (Cathedral of the Holy Spirit)

St. Esprit Cathedral is one of the most visited churches in Istanbul, and it is a must-see destination to visit while in Şişli. The architectural properties of St. Esprit Cathedral belonged to the Baroque style and were designed by Giuseppe Fossatti and Julien Hillereau.

Additionally, St. Cathedral is the second-largest cathedral (among its own kind). The cathedral includes a statue of Pope Benedict XV.

Maçka Modern Art Gallery

The modernity in Şişli explains itself best in Maçka Modern Art Gallery. You can find the galleries of various artists. You can find the Maçka Modern Art Gallery in the streets of Şişli; however, it does not take place in a central street. You need to walk to find it.

The gallery includes multiple floors, and it is accessible for people who use wheelchairs. Additionally, there is a restaurant present within the gallery.

Maçka Park

Maçka Park or Maçka Democracy Park is one of the most popular and famous parks of Istanbul. The Park occupies a large place, and it is full of greens. There are many places to sit and chill. Additionally, Maçka Park is a popular destination to go for walks and make picnics. The Park is open 24/7, and you can visit it anytime you want.

Maçka Park

Kurtuluş

Kurtuluş is one of the oldest areas of both Şişli and Istanbul. The culture in Kurtuluş completely belonged to the non-Muslim population, which makes it different. There are lots of natural beauties, churches, and other historical buildings to visit. Additionally, the architecture in Kurtuluş also differs from the rest of Istanbul in some points due to the non-Muslim population lived there in the past.

Even though you do not have time to spend time in Kurtuluş, you can wander around the streets and get a fuller picture of Şişli. 

Nişantaşı

Nişantaşı is another strict of Şişli. Like Teşvikiye, Nişantaşı is known for the luxurious and modern lifestyle. You can find many high-end fashion stores and fancy restaurants. Besides, there are many designer boutiques in Nişantaşı. There are lots of restaurants, café, and pub options for different budgets. If you were looking for a specific store in Istanbul and cannot find it, checking Nişantaşı would be a good option since there are many places that other districts of Istanbul do not have.

Nişantaşı

Experience in Şişli – Things to Eat & Moments to Live

One of the important things during your visit to Şişli is most probably the experience. Luckily, Şişli has so many things to offer to you, and the chances of you getting disappointed from those experiences are quite low. The architecture, food options, entertainment options, and historical buildings are some of the things that would make your Şişli visit a good one. 

What to Eat in Şişli?

Şişli is a central location, so there are way too many options for dining, desserts, breakfast, drinking, and everything related to food and drinks. You can find many different cuisines.

Nişantaşı Başköşe

In Nişantaşı Başköşe, you will get to taste some of the most popular Turkish cuisine foods including but not limited to Adana kebab, pide, and lahmacun. The restaurant also includes alcoholic drinks, and you can get to experience the full Turkish cuisine experience there.

Address: Harbiye, Bronz Sk. No:5/1, 34370 Şişli/İstanbul

Juno

Juno is another popular restaurant in Şişli. You can find different types of pizzas, burgers, keto options, and alcoholic drinks. The ambiance is very chill and charming. In Juno, it is possible to experience both comfort and luxury at the same time.

Address Harbiye, Juno, Mim Kemal Öke Caddesi, Şişli/İstanbul

Shishly Café & Bistro

One of the best cafes you can ever find in Şişli is Shishly Café and Bistro. There are many options to try including Turkish cuisine, world cuisine, vegan and vegetarian options. The menu is rich, and the service you will get is highly professional.

Address: Merkez, Abide-i Hürriyet Cd No:122, 34381 Şişli/İstanbul

Meat & Meet

For all steak lovers, meat & meet offers a great experience in which you get to taste delicious food while enjoying your visit to Şişli. The restaurant has many regulars, which proves the quality and deliciousness of the restaurant. The staff is knowledgeable and welcoming.

Address: Cumhuriyet, Silahşör Cd. No:24, 34380 Şişli/İstanbul

Moments to Live in Şişli

If you seek something to enrich your experience in Şişli, different options will make your visit more extraordinary and remarkable.

Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall

If you would like to experience the concert environment in Şişli, you would want to see a concert in Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall. All year long, different singers come to perform in Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall. You can check for the incoming singers online.

Cemil Topuzlu Open-Air Theatre

Cemil Topuzlu Open-Air theatre is a popular theatre in which many events take place annually. This Amphitheatre hosts thousands of people every year, and it is a very good activity to do, especially in the summertime. There are concerts, shows, international performers, and cultural events present in Cemil Topuzlu Open-Air Theatre.

Cemil Topuzlu Open-Air Theatre

Turk Telekom Stadium

The football experience in Şişli is unique, and experiencing it would contribute you a lot in terms of exploring Şişli. If you ever find a football game present in Turk Telekom Stadium, do not hesitate to purchase a ticket to see it. The football experience in Şişli is exciting, fun, and remarkable.

Shopping in Şişli

One of the most important experiences you need to try in Şişli is shopping. There are some popular shopping destinations in Şişli that you need to know.

Kanyon Shopping Mall

Kanyon Shopping Mall is one of the most popular malls in Istanbul. There are many different stores, activity centers, offices, and a big movie theatre. Additionally, Kanyon Shopping Mall is a host for various activities throughout the year.

Cevahir AVM

With its six floors and over 200 stores, Cevahir is a wonderful shopping mall for both Istanbul locals and tourists. Besides, Cevahir is also an entertainment center in which you can find various activities and events. Until the year of 2011, Cevahir was the biggest shopping mall in all of Europe. Even though there are bigger malls today, Cevahir is still one of the largest malls in the world.

Feriköy Antique Bazaar

Besides the remarkable shopping centers, Şişli has some extraordinary and unique bazaars. Feriköy antique bazaar is one of the most popular bazaars of whole Istanbul, if it’s not already the most popular one. In fact, Feriköy antique bazaar is the largest bazaar of Turkey. As you can infer from the name, there are various antique pieces which are from many years ago. Most of the products in the Feriköy antique bazaar are one-of-a-kind and extraordinary.

Feriköy Antique Bazaar

On Fridays, Feriköy antique bazaar has second-hand products and textile products. There is an organic bazaar on Saturdays, and on Sundays, you can find all the antique products mentioned earlier.

MetroCity AVM

MetroCity AVM is another famous mall in Şişli that offers outstanding architecture and lots of opportunities. Transportation to MetroCity AVM is possible from many starting points. Many famous brands have stores in MetroCity AVM, which makes it possible to find anything you need to find.

Where to Stay in Şişli?

The accommodation options in Şişli are pretty wide. Regardless of your budget and choices, you can find a place to stay for you. You can find five-starred super luxurious hotels if you want. Or, you can find half-pension hotels which would not be as luxurious as the other option but will be cheaper.

  • For low budgets, AG Şişli Hotel, İstanbul Dora Hotel, Mim Hotel Istanbul, and Atik Palas Hotel are recommended.
  • For mid-range budgets, The Craton, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Esentepe, Hotel Avantgarde, and Grand Cehavir Hotel Convention Center are recommended.
  • For high budgets, Hotel Fairmont Quasar Istanbul, Holiday Inn Şişli, Radisson Blu Hotel, and Crowne Plaza Istanbul are recommended

Checking Airbnb options is highly recommended for accommodation since you can find many different alternatives for every budget.

İsmail Çamönü

Hi! I am Ismail. I am a digital nomad from Turkey. I lived in many cities around Turkey during my life and I am passionate about traveling. At Nomad's Guide to Turkey, I share travel tips for nomads, expats, and tourists who would like to visit Turkey.

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